Deputy Commander

 

Colonel Steven Ortega

Deputy Commander

Belize Defence Force

Colonel Steven Andrew Ortega currently holds the post of Deputy Commander Belize Defence Force.  He joined the Force on 30th September, 1990.   After being successful on the Officer Selection Board he completed Recruit Training course in Price Barracks. He continued to serve as a rifleman in Foxtrot Company until
September 1991 when he attended and successfully graduated from the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst, United Kingdom.     On 8 August 1992 he was commissioned in the rank of Second Lieutenant. 

            His initial tour of duty was as an infantry platoon commander in Alpha Company.   During this period he successfully completed the Platoon Commander Battle Course at the School of Infantry Warminster United Kingdom from 3 May 1994 to 3 August 1994.    After completing the Platoon Commanders Battle Course he attended a Junior Officer Staff Course held at Airport Camp and ran by the British Forces Belize at that time.   He was later promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in August 1994,      He was later promoted Captain, and, in August 1999 he was selected to attend and successfully completed the Jamaican Junior Command and Staff Course.   On his return he took up the post of Company Commander for Alpha Company and in 2002 he was selected to attend and successfully completed the Infantry Captains Career Course in Fort Benning Georgia, USA.   On 23 December 2005 he was promoted Substantive Major and appointed Force Military Liaison Officer in the Ministry of Defence.  This post required him to coordinate with the Minister all policies relating to the Force.  He was later nominated to attend and successfully completed the Command and General Staff Course in Fort Leavenworth Kansas USA, in 2006.    On his return he was appointed Executive Officer for the 2nd Infantry Battalion where he served until August when he took command of that Battalion and Commanding Officer.         

            In   2008 he attended the Caribbean Defence and Security Course in Washington D.C and in November 2008 he was promoted Substantive Lieutenant Colonel.   In 2009 he was selected to attend the Peacekeeping Support Operations Course in Uruguay and later in 2009 he attended the Regional Assistance and Protection Course in Brazil South America.   In August 2010 he was appointed Commanding Officer Support and Services Battalion.  He remained in that appointment until August 2012 when he was appointed Chief of Staff in Force Headquarters until 31 January 2013.    On 1 February 2013 he was promoted Substantive Colonel appointed Deputy Commander Belize Defence Force. He successfully completed a Security and Strategy course at the Royal College of Defence Studies in the UK in 2016.  

            Colonel Ortega has attended numerous local courses as well as local and foreign conferences and seminars on behalf of the BDF.  The most notable ones are the Caribbean Nations Security Conference in 2008 in the USA, Central American Strategic Framework Conference in the USA in 2010, Seminar on Large Scale Emergencies and Disaster in Fort McNair USA, and Central American Military Engineer Conference in San Salvador.       

He is the recipient of the BDF’s Long Service and Good Conduct Medal and the Force’s Certificate of Distinguished Service.

            Colonel Ortega is married to Eleanor and they enjoy four children – sons Jahmar,   Eldon and Javen and daughter Jael.  Colonel Ortega is an avid Sportsman and enjoys football.